MPs and Peers welcome Spanish court's decision to investigate Iranian camp

Hunger strikers like Heidari Soudabeht, 19, of Engel Park, starved for 72 days in protest

Hunger strikers like Heidari Soudabeht, 19, of Engel Park, starved for 72 days in protest

First published in News by

MPs AND Peers from across the political spectrum have welcomed a Spanish court's decision to investigate claims Iraqi troops killed refugees at Camp Ashraf.

MPs and Peers from all parties have welcomed the decision by the Spanish central court to investigate a raid on July 28 and 29 by Iraq's armed forces on the Iranian refugee camp 60 miles north-east of Baghdad.

The raid led to 11 deaths and around 500 injuries, and 36 people were detained.

Relatives of the refugee camp's residents, many of whom live in Barnet, have claimed they were tortured, shot and taken hostage.

But the Iraqis say they went into the camp to establish a police station and did not use force.

Barnet residents went on hunger strike outside the United States Embassy earlier this year to urge the US to take back control of the camp and to secure the release of those taken from it.

Camp Ashraf's 3,400 residents are all political dissidents who escaped from Iran after the Islamic revolution and have lived under their own rules inside Iraq ever since.

The country's Central Investigative Court ruled on Friday that the residents of the camp were "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

It claimed its competency to investigate the events under the principles of universal jurisdiction established in the Geneva Conventions.

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, chairman of the all-Party British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, said: "The court's affirmation of the status of PMOI members as 'protected persons' obliges the US and other Coalition members, as responsible parties in Iraq, to ensure that Baghdad ceases to violate residents' rights and refrains from its threats to forcibly displace them within Iraq.”

The court decided to investigate the raid following a complaint filed by relatives of Ashraf residents.

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom said it strongly supported the decision of the Spanish court.

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